TELLERVO f Finnish Mythology
Meaning unknown. Tellervo was a Finnish forest goddess. She is variously described as either the wife or daughter of Tapio.
TELMAN m Azerbaijani
Soviet-era name derived from the usual Azerbaijani spelling of the surname of the German communist party leader Ernst Thälmann (1886-1944; see THÄLMANN
TELMO m Portuguese, Spanish
Derived from a misdivision of Spanish Santelmo
meaning "saint ELMO"
. This name is given in honour of Pedro González Telmo, a 13th-century Spanish priest.
TEMAN m Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Means "right hand"
in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of a grandson of Esau
for whom the town of Teman in Edom was named.
TEMPERANCE f English (Archaic)
From the English word meaning "moderation"
. This was one of the virtue names adopted by the Puritans in the 17th century.
TEMPEST f English (Rare)
From the English word meaning "storm"
. It appears in the title of William Shakespeare's play The Tempest
TEMPLE m & f English (Rare)
From a surname that originally belonged to a person who was associated with the Knights Templar, a medieval religious military order.
TEMUJIN m History
Means "of iron"
in Mongolian, derived ultimately from the Turkic word temür
"iron". This was the original name of the Mongolian leader better known by the title Genghis
Khan. Born in the 12th century, he managed to unite the tribes of Mongolia and then conquer huge areas of Asia and Eastern Europe.
TEMURI m Georgian
Form of TEMUR
with the nominative suffix, used in Georgian when the name is written stand-alone.
TEMÜÜLEN m & f Mongolian
Means "striving, aspiring"
in Mongolian. This was the name of the sister of Genghis Khan.
TENNYSON m English (Rare)
From an English surname that meant "son of Tenney"
being a medieval form of DENIS
. A notable bearer of the surname was British poet Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892).
TENZIN m & f Tibetan, Bhutanese
From Tibetan བསྟན་འཛིན (bstan-'dzin)
meaning "upholder of teachings"
. This is one of the given names of the current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso (1935-).
TEODOR m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Slovak, Czech, Polish, Serbian, Croatian, Slovene, Macedonian
Form of THEODORE
used in various languages.
TERAH m Biblical
Possibly means "station"
in Hebrew. In the Old Testament Terah is the father of Abraham
. He led his people out of Ur and towards Canaan, but died along the way.
TERCERO m Spanish (Rare)
in Spanish. This name was traditionally given to the third child born.
TERENCE m English
From the Roman family name Terentius
, which is of unknown meaning. Famous bearers include Publius Terentius Afer, a Roman playwright, and Marcus Terentius Varro, a Roman scholar. It was also borne by several early saints. The name was used in Ireland as an Anglicized form of TOIRDHEALBHACH
, but it was not in use as an English name until the late 19th century.
TERESA f Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Catalan, Polish, Finnish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English
Form of THERESA
used in several languages. Saint Teresa of Ávila was a 16th-century Spanish nun who reformed the Carmelite monasteries and wrote several spiritual books. It was also borne by the Albanian missionary Saint Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997), better known as Mother Teresa, who worked with the poor in India. She adopted the name in honour of the French saint Thérèse of Lisieux, who is the patron of missionaries.
TERHI f Finnish
Short form of Terhenetär
, which was derived from Finnish terhen
. In the Finnish epic the Kalevala
Terhenetär is a sprite associated with mist and forests.
TERRA f English
Variant of TARA (1)
, perhaps influenced by the Latin word terra
meaning "land, earth".
TERRELL m English
From an English surname that was probably derived from the Norman French nickname tirel "to pull"
, referring to a stubborn person. It may sometimes be given in honour of civil rights activist Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954).
TERRY (1) m & f English
From an English surname that was derived from the medieval name Thierry
, a Norman French form of THEODORIC
TERRY (2) m & f English
Diminutive of TERENCE
. A famous bearer was Terry Fox (1958-1981), a young man with an artificial leg who attempted to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. He died of the disease before crossing the country.
TESNI f Welsh
Means "warmth from the sun"
TESS f English, Dutch
Diminutive of THERESA
. This is the name of the main character in Thomas Hardy's novel Tess of the D'Ubervilles
TETHYS f Greek Mythology
Derived from Greek τήθη (tethe)
. In Greek mythology this was the name of a Titan associated with the sea. She was the wife of Oceanus.
TEUTA f Albanian
Possibly derived from an Illyrian word or title meaning "queen"
. This was the name of a 3rd-century BC Illyrian queen.
TEVYE m Yiddish (Rare)
Yiddish form of TOBIAH
. This is the name of the central character in stories written by the Yiddish author Sholem Aleichem in the late 19th century, as well as the later musical adaptation Fiddler on the Roof
TEX m English
From a nickname denoting a person who came from the state of Texas. A famous bearer was the American animator Tex Avery (1908-1980), real name Frederick, who was born in Texas.
TEZCATLIPOCA m Aztec and Toltec Mythology
Means "smoking mirror"
in Nahuatl. In Aztec and other Mesoamerican mythology he was one of the chief gods, associated with the night sky, winds, war, and the north. Like his rival Quetzalcoatl
, he was a creator god.
THADDEUS m English, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From Θαδδαῖος (Thaddaios)
, the Greek form of the Aramaic name Thaddai
. It is possibly derived from a word meaning "heart"
, but it may in fact be an Aramaic form of a Greek name such as Θεόδωρος
). In the Gospel of Matthew, Thaddaeus is listed as one of the twelve apostles, though elsewhere in the New Testament his name is omitted and Jude
's appears instead. It is likely that the two names refer to the same person.
THAÏS f Ancient Greek
Possibly means "bandage"
in Greek. This was the name of a companion of Alexander the Great. It was also borne by a 4th-century saint from Alexandria, a wealthy socialite who became a Christian convert, though in her case the name may have had a distinct Coptic origin. She has been a popular subject of art and literature, including an 1891 novel by Anatole France and an 1894 opera by Jules Massenet.
THALES m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek θάλλω (thallo)
meaning "to blossom"
. This was the name of a 6th-century BC Greek philosopher and mathematician.
THANATOS m Greek Mythology
in Greek. This was the name of the Greek god of death who resided with Hades in the underworld.
THANE m English (Rare)
From the Scottish and English noble title, which was originally from Old English thegn
THANKFUL f English (Archaic)
From the English word thankful
. This was one of the many virtue names used by the Puritans in the 17th century.
THATCHER m English (Modern)
From an English surname that referred to a person who thatched roofs by attaching straw to them, derived from Old English þæc
"thatch". The surname was borne by British prime minister Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013).
THEDA f German
Short form of THEODORA
. A famous bearer was actress Theda Bara (1885-1955), who was born Theodosia Goodman.
THEIA f Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek θεά (thea)
. In Greek myth this was the name of a Titan goddess of light, glittering and glory. She was the wife of Hyperion
and the mother of the sun god Helios
, the moon goddess Selene
, and the dawn goddess Eos
THEKLA f German (Rare), Greek (Rare), Late Greek
From the ancient Greek name Θεόκλεια (Theokleia)
, which meant "glory of God"
from the Greek elements θεός (theos)
meaning "god" and κλέος (kleos)
meaning "glory". This was the name of a 1st-century saint, appearing (as Θέκλα
) in the apocryphal Acts of Paul and Thecla
. The story tells how Thecla listens to Paul speak about the virtues of chastity and decides to remain a virgin, angering both her mother and her suitor.
THELMA f English
Meaning unknown. It was a rare name when British author Marie Corelli used it for the Norwegian heroine of her novel Thelma
(1887). The name became popular around the end of the 19th century after the novel was published. It is sometimes claimed to derive from Greek θέλημα (thelema)
meaning "will", though this seems unlikely.
THELONIUS m Various
Latinized form of Tielo
). A famous bearer was jazz musician Thelonious Monk (1917-1982).
THEMIS f Greek Mythology
Means "law of nature, divine law, that which is laid down"
in Greek. In Greek mythology this was the name of a Titan who presided over custom and natural law. She was often depicted blindfolded and holding a pair of scales. By Zeus
she was the mother of many deities, including the three Μοῖραι
(Moirai) and the three Ὥραι
THEOBALD m English (Rare), Ancient Germanic
Means "bold people"
, derived from the Germanic elements theud
"people" and bald
"bold". The Normans brought the name to England, where it joined an existing Old English cognate. The medieval forms Tibald
were commonly Latinized as Theobaldus
. It was rare by the 20th century.
THEODORA f English, Greek, Ancient Greek
Feminine form of THEODORE
. This name was common in the Byzantine Empire, being borne by several empresses including the influential wife of Justinian in the 6th century.
THEODORE m English
From the Greek name Θεόδωρος (Theodoros)
, which meant "gift of god"
from Greek θεός (theos)
meaning "god" and δῶρον (doron)
meaning "gift". The name Dorothea
is derived from the same roots in reverse order. This was the name of several saints, including Theodore of Amasea, a 4th-century Greek soldier; Theodore of Tarsus, a 7th-century archbishop of Canterbury; and Theodore the Studite, a 9th-century Byzantine monk. It was also borne by two popes.... [more]
THEODORIC m History
From a Germanic name meaning "ruler of the people"
, derived from the elements theud
"people" and ric
"ruler". It was notably borne by Theodoric the Great, a 6th-century king of the Ostrogoths who eventually became the ruler of Italy. By Theodoric's time the Ostrogoths were partially Romanized and his name was regularly recorded as Theodoricus
. The Gothic original may have been Þiudreiks
THEODOSIUS m Ancient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Θεοδόσιος (Theodosios)
meaning "giving to god"
, derived from θεός (theos)
meaning "god" and δόσις (dosis)
meaning "giving". Saint Theodosius of Palestine was a monk who founded a monastery near Bethlehem in the 5th century. This also was the name of emperors of the Eastern Roman and Byzantine Empires.
THEOPHANES m Ancient Greek
Means "manifestation of God"
from Greek θεός (theos)
meaning "god" and φανής (phanes)
meaning "appearing". This name was borne by a few saints, including an 8th-century chronicler from Constantinople and a 19th-century Russian Orthodox saint, Theophanes the Recluse, who is Феофан (Feofan)
in Russian. Another famous bearer was a 14th-century Byzantine icon painter active in Moscow.
THERESA f English, German, Danish
From the Spanish and Portuguese name Teresa
. It was first recorded as Therasia
, being borne by the Spanish wife of Saint Paulinus of Nola in the 4th century. The meaning is uncertain, but it could be derived from Greek θέρος (theros)
, from Greek θερίζω (therizo)
meaning "to harvest"
, or from the name of the Greek island of Therasia (the western island of Santorini).... [more]
THÉRÈSE f French
French form of THERESA
. It was borne by the French nun Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (1873-1897), who is regarded as a Doctor of the Church.
THESEUS m Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from Greek τίθημι (tithemi)
meaning "to set, to place"
. Theseus was a heroic king of Athens in Greek mythology. He was the son of Aethra, either by Aegeus or by the god Poseidon
. According to legend, every seven years the Cretan king Minos
demanded that Athens supply Crete with seven boys and seven girls to be devoured by the Minotaur, a half-bull creature that was the son of Minos's wife Pasiphaë. Theseus volunteered to go in place of one of these youths in order to slay the Minotaur in the Labyrinth where it lived. He succeeded with the help of Minos's daughter Ariadne
, who provided him with a sword and a roll of string so he could find his way out of the maze.
THỊ f Vietnamese
From Sino-Vietnamese 氏 (thị)
meaning "clan, family, maiden name"
. This is a very common middle name for Vietnamese girls.
THIRI f Burmese
Means "radiance, splendour, beauty"
in Burmese, ultimately from Sanskrit श्री (shri)
THISBE f Greek Mythology, Roman Mythology
From the name of an ancient Greek town in Boeotia, itself supposedly named after a nymph. In a Greek legend (the oldest surviving version appearing in Latin in Ovid's Metamorphoses
) this is the name of a young woman from Babylon. Believing her to be dead, her lover Pyramus kills himself, after which she does the same to herself. The splashes of blood from their suicides is the reason mulberry fruit are red.
THOMAS m English, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Greek, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Greek form of the Aramaic name תָּאוֹמָא (Ta'oma')
. In the New Testament this is the name of an apostle. When he heard that Jesus
had risen from the dead he initially doubted the story, until Jesus appeared before him and he examined his wounds himself. According to tradition he was martyred in India. Due to his renown, the name came into general use in the Christian world.... [more]
THOR m Norse Mythology, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish
From the Old Norse Þórr
, ultimately from the early Germanic *Þunraz
. Thor was the Norse god of strength, thunder, war and storms, the son of Odin
. He was armed with a hammer called Mjolnir, and wore an enchanted belt that doubled his strength.
ÞÓRA f Ancient Scandinavian, Icelandic
Either a feminine form of Þórr
) or else a short form of the various Old Norse names beginning with the element Þór
. In Norse myth Thora was the wife of the Danish king Ragnar Lodbrok.
THORLEY m English (Rare)
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "thorn clearing"
in Old English.
THORNTON m English
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "thorn town"
in Old English.
THOTH m Egyptian Mythology (Hellenized)
Greek form of Egyptian ḏḥwtj
(reconstructed as Djehuti
), which is of uncertain meaning. In Egyptian mythology Thoth was the god of the moon, science, magic, speech and writing. He was often depicted as a man with the head of an ibis.
THRACIUS m Ancient Roman
From a Roman name meaning "of Thracia"
. Thracia was a region in southeast Europe, now divided between Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey.